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View Diary: "The presidency of the U.S. has become at its core the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior" (501 comments)

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  •  I guess we've come to a point where the (36+ / 0-)

    Constitution is little more than a piece of parchment with writing on it.

    Looks nice on display and all, but abiding by it? That's so pre-9/11.

    Maybe that's the new objective of Constitutional Law, or for that matter law school in general - to figure out ways of getting around it.

    See: John Yoo, et al.

    Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

    by Pescadero Bill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:32:10 PM PST

    •  For Instance - As Commander in Chief of our (50+ / 0-)

      Armed Forces, the President has the authority to decide in time of declared war or hostilities who is an enemy combatant, and to target them for assasination.

      Despite the fact that no President has ever argued in over 120 years that this gives them the authority to issue orders to kill Americans without trial, it apparently has always been the case.

      John Yoo couldn't cook that shit up - but Armando did.  And at least dozens around here ate it up with a fucking spoon.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:32:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent comment. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, Don midwest, corvo

        A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

        by edg on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:25:10 PM PST

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      •  IOKIYAAD. (13+ / 0-)

        Most of us here are just as brainlessly partisan as the goppers are.  They wave their red pennant, we wave our blue pennant.  And all that matters is the blue team winning---even if we do the very same things once in office (such as pass a Republican health care plan and introduce a Republican immigration plan).

      •  I still don't understand why American (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sneakers563, koNko

        citizens are sacrosanct when Iraqi and Afghan citizens aren't.  War is war.  We seem to live in a fantasy where only soldiers die in wars.  We seem to think that cynical claims of American citizenship should protect terrorists living in other countries.  Some of us even think terrorism is a construct, not a reality. Good luck with that.

        I also find it laughable that anyone in the world thinks libertarians have anything to offer.  They're Ayn Rand on steroids.  You gotta be a Hamsher fan if you're thinking libertarian.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:13:58 AM PST

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        •  It's called a coalition. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bewild, corvo, Hunter Acosta, lotlizard

          We have different worldviews but there are areas in which we agree. Although they are fundamentally different philosophies there are a number of significant points of agreement between progressives and libertarians. We would've done well 10 years ago to join forces with the libertarians to fight against the war on terror and the national security state.

          "Today is who you are" - my wife

          by I Lurked For Years on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:24:42 AM PST

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          •  Well Republicans and I agree on some (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Icicle68

            things, too.  They get up in the morning, go to work, buy groceries.  All things we share.  I wouldn't consider a coalition with them because they're also batshit crazy.  I'd suggest you take the same attitude toward libertarians unless you secretly love the Somali lifestyle.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:40:12 AM PST

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            •  Batshit crazy democrats too (7+ / 0-)

              Anyone who supports the military industrial complex, the violation of the bill of rights, the mass incarceration of poor people of color, and the merger of corporations and state...to me this is batshit crazy. Unfortunately that describes many democrats. But I have a coalition with some of these batshit crazies when it comes to fighting for reproductive freedom.

              "Today is who you are" - my wife

              by I Lurked For Years on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:05:27 AM PST

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              •  We are known by the company we keep. (0+ / 0-)

                I prefer not to support people who think I'm prey.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:39:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I cannot agree that it's ok to preserve my (5+ / 0-)

                liberties if the cost is accepting the blatant murder of kids halfway around the world and overt rule by banks at home.

                "I am scared of losing something" is no justification for active participation in evil.

                income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:10:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you in disagreement with find common cause? (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree with no one person on every issue. Yet I believe that working with others on one issue is advantageous to working alone. I'm chided for saying that libertarians and progressives should work together on issues they both care about (war, empire, military-industrial complex, civil liberties, national security state, drones, surveillance, indefinite detention, executive kill lists, police state, prison insdustrial complex, war on drugs, mass incarceration, etc) because we disagree on other issues. Now I'm being chided for saying that progressives work together with democrats on issues in common? I'm not saying we don't fight them on the issues we disagree about. But if I want to get something done I don't first make sure that I agree with someone about every other issue in the world before I ask them if they'll help me on that particular thing...I didn't think this was a controversial matter...now I wonder if we're talking about something different than I think we're talking about...

                  "Today is who you are" - my wife

                  by I Lurked For Years on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:36:14 AM PST

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            •  Shallow and inane post. (7+ / 0-)

              Lurked's point was about political coalition, which is about sharing political values, not about daily habits. There are values that progressives and libertarians share, such as limiting the powers of the government to detain/imprison people, torture people, and kill people. Both progressives and libertarians want due process respected and want serious checks and limits on the Executive's power to do these things.

              Further, this flippant and ignorant comment that many use about Somalia is not helpful. The people of that country are victims of years of internal warfare, external interference, endemic poverty and a host of serious issues. Pretending that it is the lack of a strong central government that is the root of Somali misery is stupid and does not respect their suffering. It is a cheap trick to score points, and people love to use it even though they have literally no knowledge of the history of Somalia.

              •  That's a nice cover story, which (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Don midwest

                is why I used a rhetorical device to rebut it.  It's an excuse for legitimizing a philosophy that's not even in the same room with the concept of governance and the common good.  

                It's a defense of greed and selfishness that is exactly and precisely the opposite of the desires of the Founders - that we put aside our personal desires and subject them to the common good from time to time, that we sustain a union despite our individuality as state units or person units, that we take our job as citizens seriously and exercise our rights thoughtfully.

                Somalia, by the way, is merely an example of what living in chaos and anarchy looks like.  It's a country that's not able to put the good of the many over the desires of the various factions.  It's what libertarians and survivalists dream about, a world where they can destroy at will and never face consequences.  

                Defend them any way you like: what you're defending is indefensible but you certainly have the right to try.

                I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:34:43 AM PST

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                •  I'm sorry that someone convinced you that (5+ / 0-)

                  Anarchy and Chaos are in any way synonymous, or that Somalia is in a state of Anarchy.

                  Anarchy means "Without Rulers".  Somalia is not without rulers.  Somalia has all too many rulers, many who see the world as you do and who believe firmly that strong men should be free to kill anyone they label an enemy.

                  It's easier to have these conversations if you trouble yourself to look up the words that you don't understand.

                  income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                  by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:21:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Anarchism (4+ / 0-)

                  is a society based on the egalitarian principles of mutual aid and collective self management.

                  Thus, the chaos of a dog eat dog society (as seen in capitalism, for example) would not exist in anarchic society, because since hierarchy is opposed and discouraged as much as possible, no one would be allowed by the communities to govern as an individual. Instead, the people manage their own affairs by collective cooperation, using direct democracy in participatory communities.

                  It is highly organized, economically sound and efficient, and anything but chaos.

                  Federations are formed by cooperating participatory communities entering into agreement by free association, thus forming networks that are local, regional, and even international in scale.

                  But decisions are made from the bottom up, rather than top down. Thus, it is anarchic, without rulers, since the people manage themselves with direct democracy. Delegates to federal committees are elected or rotated, and come from the community, live in the community, and receive mandates/instructions from it, and are recallable immediately if necessary, in the case that they try to assume authority as individuals.  

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:58:06 AM PST

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                  •  Like I said, your cover story is (0+ / 0-)

                    convincing enough for you, so have at it.  Just don't expect me to be baffled by clever word smithing or humiliated by my obvious lack of dictionary skills.  You tried hard, you failed.  The people you find attractive enough to cooperate with are repulsive to me.

                    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                    by I love OCD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:07:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  And... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4kedtongue, isabelle hayes, lotlizard

                  American right wing libertarianism is a contradiction in terms. The word libertarian predates the right wing movement which labels itself thusly, and derives from the concept of libertarian socialism from Europe in the 1800s.

                  Yep, the original libertarians were (and still are) socialists! But they were non-authoritarian socialists (anarchists) and believed in real freedom and liberty from hierarchy and thus, from the State as well.

                  The term "libertarian" as used by free market zealots is completely incorrect, since there is nothing at all truly libertarian about wage slavery in the capitalist market place, in which people sell their labor (their actual physical bodies) to the ruling class; to those who have control of the land, tools and equipment used in production.

                  How is such exploitation and wage slavery anything resembling liberty? This is another example of left wing terms being co-opted, in Orwellian fashion, by the right.

                  The same applies to the term "anarcho-capitalism." Capitalism is never without a ruling class, and never without wage slavery, and never without oppression of the working class, and thus it cannot be described as "without rulers".

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:11:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Completely agree that seeking common ground (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              4kedtongue, Nada Lemming

              with Republicans is a fool's errand.

              Pity no one informed the President.

              When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

              by PhilJD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:27:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  A state has far fewer obligations to those not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JesseCW

          under its jurisdiction than it does citizens and resident aliens. That's the nature of the state.

          The issue ultimately is a betrayal of those under one's charge.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:43:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  American citizens must commit treason to be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias, truong son traveler

          enemy combatants.

          No one can be convicted of treason without two witnesses to an overt act, if we feel like paying attention to that useless bit of paper our last two Presidents have decided is irrelevant.

          We currently have citizens being "tried" and sentenced to death for treason, and a White House that's pretending not using the word changes something.

          Every executive in history that has ever had this authority has, within a few years, started using it to kill domestic political enemies.

          That's why it matters.  The path from where we now are to domestic campaigns of terror is very, very short.

          I'm not entirely sure why you're rambling about Libertarians right now, unless it's for your own entertainment.  Given your bizarre rant about how great it is for civilians to be targeted for murder because scary scary war terrorists pissy pants, I'm not convinced looking for logic or reason is a productive use of time.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:16:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No one claims American citizens are sacrosanct (0+ / 0-)

          in an actual firefight. If John Walker Lindh had been killed rather than captured while coalition forces engaged the Taliban, his death would have raised no constitutional questions.

          That hypothetical has almost nothing in common with the all-too-real targeted assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, other than Made in America on the weapons.

          And oh yes, terrorism is very real. Bombing wedding parties and targeting first responders certainly fit any sane definition of the term.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:24:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe that's why Kos asked him back. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW
      •  Hunter moved on from revulsion at white phosphorus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        … use against children, to a long running, front page, Romney-what-a-dolt diary series.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:43:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Hunter has next to nothing to say about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard

          Cluster Munitions now that it's a Democrat trying to destroy the treaty banning them.

          That said, ignoring issues because "your guy" is the bad guy this time around still isn't as shady as actively excusing and justifying war crimes.

          John Yoo at least could say that he was "just serving his client".  

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:32:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  not all lawyers are the same, ya know, n/t (0+ / 0-)

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